The Leeds boss can relieve Junior Firpo’s absence with the versatile defender.
Leeds United will head to the London Stadium this afternoon to continue their relegation battle in their Premier League clash with West Ham United and Sam Allardyce will be hoping his team can put up a fight in the penultimate game of the season.
The Whites are currently 18th in the top flight table and one point deep in the relegation zone heading into their final away fixture, so picking up nothing short of all three points from the Hammers this weekend will be crucial to their survival hopes.
A 2-2 draw with Newcastle United last weekend should give the Leeds squad a boost of confidence in their capabilities to retain their Premier League status by next weekend, however, with Everton, Leicester City and Nottingham Forest also battling to beat a drop down to the Championship there is still work to be done.
As a result, Allardyce will be looking to fill his starting eleven with experienced players he can rely on to provide a positive outlook for the West Yorkshire club ahead of the final day of the season, and an opportunity for Pascal Struijk to start could present itself in East London today.
Will Pascal Struijk start against West Ham?
Leeds have been plagued with injuries throughout the season and will be without Tyler Adams, Luis Sinisterra and Stuart Dallas against the Hammers, whilst Marc Roca and Liam Cooper will be subjected to late fitness tests ahead of the clash.
Not only that, Junior Firpo will be unavailable for selection at left-back due to a one-match suspension after he picked up two yellow cards and a sending off against the Magpies at Elland Road last week, paving the way for Struijk to reprise his role on the left flank.
The versatile £50k-per-week titan – hailed “tremendous” by Tony Dorigo – has played predominantly in the left-back position this season but is also extremely experienced in the centre-back role too, giving Allardyce a player he can utilise across the defensive set-up in the final fixtures.
Over 27 league appearances, Struijk has scored two goals, registered one assist and successfully completed the majority of his dribbles (56%), as well as averaging 2.3 clearances, 2.8 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 5.6 duels won per game, proving that he is both potent in attack and defensively sound when playing in the back four.
With that being said, it would be an absolute no-brainer for Allardyce to unleash Struijk against West Ham as not only will he replace Firpo, but the full-back could revive Leeds’ season if he can provide a moment of magic away from home.